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Bladder Control Problems



Updated September 05, 2006


Today there are more treatments for urinary incontinence than ever before. The choice of treatment depends on the type of bladder control problem you have, how serious it is, and what best fits your lifestyle. As a general rule, the simplest and safest treatments should be tried first.

Bladder Control Training

Your doctor may suggest you try to get back control of your bladder through training. With bladder training you can change how your bladder stores and empties urine. There are several ways to do this:

  • Pelvic muscle exercises (also known as Kegel exercises) work the muscles that you use to stop urinating. Making these muscles stronger helps you hold urine in your bladder longer. These exercises are easy to do. They can lessen or get rid of stress and urge incontinence.
    • Kegel Exercises
      The muscles you want to exercise are your pelvic floor muscles. These are the ones you use to stop the flow of urine or to keep from passing gas. Often doctors suggest that you squeeze and hold these muscles for a certain count, and then relax them. Then you repeat this a number of times. You will probably do this several times a day. Your doctor will give you exact directions.

  • Biofeedback helps you become more aware of signals from your body. This may help you regain control over the muscles in your bladder and urethra. Biofeedback can be used to help teach pelvic muscle exercises.

  • Timed voiding and bladder training also can help you control your bladder. In timed voiding, you keep a chart of urination and leaking to determine the pattern. Once you learn that, you can plan to empty your bladder before you might leak. When combined with biofeedback and pelvic muscle exercises, these methods may help you control urge and overflow incontinence.
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